Categories: General Date: Jul 26, 2017 Title: NEWCOMERS ADD SPICE TO QR KUMHO GRIDTWO KUMHO TYRE Australian V8 Touring Car Series ring-ins will add plenty of spice to an already tasty championship battle when the series for ex-Supercars resumes this weekend, at the Coates Hire Ipswich Supersprint event at Queensland Raceway.
Expected to join the fight at the pointy-end of the grid on debut, Dunlop Super2 series frontrunner Anton DePasquale and international Aussie young-gun Thomas Randle join the Kumho Series grid for the first time this weekend.
Round three of the unofficial third-tier of Supercars racing is likely to be the most competitive yet given the depth of the grid entered.
Paul Morris Motorsports driver DePasquale sits fourth in the Super2 standings this season, having broken through for a maiden victory at Phillip Island earlier this year.
He will race an ex-Triple Eight Falcon with backing from Jersey Mike’s Subs in the three races this weekend – hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow Super2 series frontrunner Garry Jacobsen, who won two rounds of the series last year while gaining miles for his Supercars campaign.
Randle, meanwhile, will return from racing prototypes and open wheelers in Europe to make his Kumho Series debut in a Ford Falcon owned by long-time supporter, Rusty French.
French purchased the ex-Craig Lowndes Triple Eight BA Falcon earlier this year and will run with the iconic black-and-gold livery of Skye Sands this weekend.
Craig Lowndes raced the car in 2008 before it moved to the Super2 series, where both James Moffat and Tim Blanchard drove the car for Sonic Motor Racing.
The car raced in the Kumho series with Jake Kostecki behind the wheel.
Randle may be focusing on his international career however is no stranger to high powered saloon-style cars – having contested the Australian Sports Sedan Championship in his father’s 800hp SAAB several years ago.
Also on debut this weekend will be former V8 Ute Racer Nandi Kiss, who will make his Kumho Series debut behind the wheel of an ex-Paul Morris Motorsport VE Commodore.
Nicknamed ‘Kulwicki’ after the late NASCAR Champion, the car was last raced in the Kumho Series by Bryce Fullwood during the 2016 season opener at Sandown.
The trio of newcomers will be joined again by Aaron Seton, who will attempt a second weekend in the series after his debut at Winton was cut short in his first ever race – damage sustained in a turn one incident with another car forcing him out for the weekend.
The third-generation Seton will return in the same BA Ford Falcon owned by Rod Dawson this weekend.
Another Kumho Series returnee will be ex-FPR Ford driver, Jason Heck – who will be keen to put the Ipswich round of twelve months ago long behind him when he returns to the track this weekend.
The JCH Electrical driver made national headlines at the same round last year, when his ex-Mark Winterbottom Falcon was tipped into a series of incredible rollovers exiting turn three in the opening race when an innocent victim of another car’s contact.
Heck emerged unscathed from the remarkable incident however the lengthy repairs mean this is his first round back since the crash.
However the most compelling storyline of the entire weekend will be the ongoing battle for the Kumho Series title, a wide open race at the top of the field a highlight after two of five rounds.
Brad Jones Racing’s Jack Smith (VE Commodore) leads the standings following his victory in round two at Winton, while Phillip Island winner Jordon Boys sits just 30 points behind in second place in his Image Racing Falcon.
Bathurst driver Michael Anderson (BF Falcon) sits third, while Tyler Greenbury will be hoping luck swings his way after two near-misses this year.
Smith and Greenbury had split the victories in the opening two races at Winton and the Eggleston Motorsport Holden driver had looked on course to win the third – and the round – before a wheel nut failure saw his left-front wheel and tyre depart with only a few laps remaining.
It was a repeat of the scenario at the opening round where he sat in a position to win the round before a tyre failure saw him lose a potential victory almost within sight of the flag at Phillip Island.
Jon McCorkindale sits fifth in the championship following two consistent performances in his BA Falcon, while Jordon Boys’ Image Racing teammate Josh Smith will be another driver keen for his luck to change this weekend.
The 19-year-old Townsville young-gun showed plenty of speed at both Phillip Island and Winton, and sits just 11 points behind McCorkindale in the standings.
Michael Anderson leads McCorkindale and Jim Pollicina in the Kumho Cup standings, with Michael Caine and Chris Smerdon completing the top-five.
The 17-car Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Car Series field will tackle three races across the weekend at the Coates Hire Ipswich Supersprint event, all broadcast live on FOX Sports.
ROUND 3 - ENTRY LIST
|4||Kumho Cup||Kustom Workz/Supercar Parts & Sales||Shane Hunt||QLD||Ford Falcon BF|
|5||Kumho Cup||JCH Electrical/Exhaust Innovations||Jason Heck||QLD||Ford Falcon BF|
|7||Kumho Cup||Mocomm Motorsports Communications||Jim Pollicina||NSW||Commodore VE|
|9||Championship||Skye Sands||Thomas Randle||VIC||Ford Falcon BA|
|11||Kumho Cup||Kenwood Homes||Michael Anderson||NSW||Ford Falcon FG|
|12||Kumho Cup||Century 21 Hazelbrook||Chris Delfsma||NSW||Ford Falcon BF|
|14||Championship||Image Racing/Lubrimaxx||Josh Smith||QLD||Ford Falcon FG|
|21||Championship||Brad Jones Racing/SCT Logistics||Jack Smith||QLD||Commodore VE ll|
|23||Kumho Cup||Massel||Michael Caine||NSW||Commodore VE|
|30||Championship||Aaron Seton Racing||Aaron Seton||QLD||Ford Falcon BF|
|36||Kumho Cup||Nandi Kiss Racing||Nandi Kiss||NSW||Commodore VE|
|38||Championship||Eggleston Motorsport||Tyler Greenbury||QLD||Commodore VE ll|
|39||Kumho Cup||Vectra Corp||Chris Smerdon||SA||Ford Falcon FG|
|49||Championship||Image Racing/Lubrimaxx||Jordan Boys||VIC||Ford Falcon FG|
|55||Heritage||Neill Motorsport||Bradley Neill||QLD||Commodore VS|
|67||Championship||Paul Morris Motorsports||Anton DePasquale||QLD||Ford Falcon FG|
|69||Kumho Cup||Dial Before You Dig/Mac Motorsport||Jon McCorkindale||NSW||Ford Falcon BF|